BEFORE anything, we believe that Floyd Mayweather deserves to be congratulated for winning against Manny Pacquiao. But unlike the billing, it was no “fight of the century.” Hype seems to be more appropriate in describing it.
No one should fault Mayweather for his style of boxing. He played to his strengths, a style that has earned him the reputation of being one of the best defensive fighters in boxing. It goes against reason that he should have been more aggressive with Pacquiao, precisely because that is not his style. But Mayweather and his fans should not begrudge us for saying that he is a bore to watch – at least against the Filipino champion.
We do not mean to play down his unbeaten record. We have no doubt that Mayweather deserves a spot in boxing’s hall of fame. But we take exception to his claim that he is the greatest, not with his “defensive” style. For us, that fight fails to even qualify as among the most important in boxing history – except perhaps for the heap of money that it made.
Our beloved Pacquiao shares the blame for the disappointment. Certainly, his aggressive style of fighting makes for a more entertaining match, but as many boxing experts have predicted, power is meaningless if he fails to catch Mayweather. And fail he did.
To be clear, we love Pacquiao. He fights with his heart. And as far as intentions go, we believe that he wanted a more entertaining match, one that would delight the millions of viewers worldwide. Unfortunately for him, Mayweather fought according to another, his own, game plan.
Having said that, we also say that Pacquiao might as well retire, as many have suggested including his mother. The match with Mayweather was to be the toughest in his illustrious career, but it turned out to be a dud. No other fighter poses a bigger challenge than Mayweather. What is the point of a rematch? It is unfair, not to mention unrealistic, to want the American to abandon a style that has earned him an unblemished professional record.
To be clear, we do not wish to take away anything from Mayweather’s victory. He won fair and square. He broke no rules. Also, we take exception to Pacquiao’ rosy appreciation of the fight, saying that he thought he won. He cannot complain about Mayweather running around, because the Filipino champ knew about that coming in. Even his coach and trainer, Freddie Roach, predicted it. The truth is, Pacquiao had no solution to Mayweather’s prancing.
At least Mayweather was honest when he reportedly said that his heart was not into boxing anymore. He plans to fight one last time in September, then retire. Good luck, but who else can command the big bucks like Pacquiao? And if it is unfair and unrealistic for the American boxer to change his style for his last fight, we wonder who would watch that last match?
Pacquiao should take a cue from Mayweather and ask if his heart is still in boxing. Given his entry into politics and show business, we suspect that Pacquiao’s heart lies elsewhere outside of boxing too. He tried his best against Mayweather. And people paid a lot to see it, but the fight did not live up to the hype. As they say, fool us once shame on you; fool us twice shame on us.